CDPH In The News March, 2018

CDPH in the News

Jury awards family $12.39M in punitive damages in case of doctor who left before finishing operation


A jury has awarded a family another $12.39-million in punitive damages in case of Fresno doctor who walked out before the operation was complete. A jury awarded the family $55.6 million in general damages Monday. Silvino Perez went into Community Regional Medical Center in Downtown Fresno needing heart surgery in 2012 and he never really came out.
Six years later, he hasn’t woken up.
Investigators say the surgeon, Dr. Pervaiz Chaudhry, left before finishing the operation by closing the 70-year-old’s chest. Months later, the California Department of Public Health fined the hospital $175,000 without naming the patient. CRMC reached a settlement with Perez’s family before this trial, but still faces at least five more lawsuits related to Dr. Chaudhry’s performance and one more from the whistleblower.

Second lawsuit against San Francisco fertility center after tank malfunction

from Mercury News

A second lawsuit has been filed against a San Francisco fertility center by a Sacramento couple that says their frozen embryos were destroyed by a rare tank malfunction, dashing their hopes of starting a family. Megan and Jonathan Bauer’s lawsuit says they were planning to transfer one of their eight embryos stored at Pacific Fertility Center next month — and were shocked to be told that something went wrong.
“Their dreams of future children were irrevocably destroyed,” said attorney Adam Wolf of the firm Peiffer Rosca Wolf Abdullah Carr & Kane, which filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division. “They entrusted their eggs and embryos after exhausting other avenues to have children.” The law firm said it is also working with regulators and legislators to create tougher oversight of the lightly-regulated field.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires testing to prevent the spread of infectious disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control tracks the success of treatments. California’s Department of Public Health requires that clinics submit policies to obtain a license.

California nursing home compare website needs to go, advocates say

from McKnight’s Long Term care News

A new website in the state of California is supposed to make it easier for residents to compare nursing homes. But industry advocates say it’s doing more harm than good and should be taken down immediately, California Healthline reports. The site in question is Cal Health Find, launched by the state’s Department of Public Health earlier this year, as a way to compare nursing homes and other care facilities. State activists, however, are calling the effort “incomplete, inaccurate and a huge step in the wrong direction.”
“The department has acknowledged and identified the source of the problem [with complaint counts] and has already implemented a correction plan,” Corey Egel, spokesman for the California Department of Public Health, told Healthline in a written statement. “The department believes Cal Health Find improves the user experience. … We find no reason to remove the site while we correct errors.”

Eureka City Ordinance set to lower syringe litter

from KIEM TV

One of the major issues affecting our community is the amount of syringes spread across private and public property. Now a new Eureka City Ordinance aims to regulate the problem at the source. There are more syringes on the ground then there are people to pick them up, but that doesn’t stop police and volunteers from trying. People who inject drugs continue to be at risk for HIV and hepatitis C infection. The California Department of Public Health has lowered the number at risk by implementing the syringe exchange program in most medical facilities, but as a result more syringes are being left behind.
City Manager Greg Sparks said that treatment for everyone in need is the real source of change, but until then, the draft ordinance provides a number of criteria including quarterly reporting, clean-ups, and keeping syringes away from schools. The new ordinance will be addressed at the next council meeting Tuesday the 6th it begins at six in eureka city hall’s council chambers.

At Some California Hospitals, Fewer Than Half Of Workers Get The Flu Shot

from Kaiser Health News

How well are doctors, nurses and other workers at your local hospital vaccinated against the flu? That depends on the hospital.
According to data from the California Department of Public Health, flu vaccination rates among health care staffers at the state’s acute care hospitals range from a low of 37 percent to 100 percent. Overall, flu vaccination rates among hospital workers climbed significantly in the past several years — from an average of 63 percent during the 2010-11 influenza season to 83 percent during the 2016-17 season, according to the California Department of Public Health.

California considers using budget surplus to aid homeless

from Santa Cruz Sentinal

Responding to pleas from 11 big-city mayors grappling with the alarming rise of homelessness, California lawmakers on Wednesday announced two proposals that would devote over half of the state’s $6.1 billion budget surplus to the crisis.
One longtime advocate for the homeless said the crisis is as severe as he has ever seen it. “It’s obviously causing individuals a lot of pain,” said Louis Chicoine, CEO of the Alameda County-based Abode Services, “but it’s also affecting the quality of life in the Bay Area for everyone else.” San Diego was struck by a deadly Hepatitis A outbreak in its homeless encampments last fall that killed 20 people, according to the California Department of Public Health. Los Angeles, Monterey and Santa Cruz also have had cases, including one death in Santa Cruz.